Category Archives: Biography

The Cross, the Switchblade, and the Empowering Love of the Father

Yesterday was Easter Sunday and, as usual, Christians all over the world celebrated the truly-distinctive mark of their faith, one of the most well-documented and attested historical events in all of antiquity, namely the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. In academic circles, no one seriously denies that Jesus was an itinerant Jewish

Getting Ready for Sunday September 4 at The Crossing


This week we take a break from our sermon series for what is becoming a Labor Day tradition for The Crossing. Keith Simon will preach a biographical sermon, “Eric Liddell: An Olympic Gold Medalist’s Uncompromising Convictions,” from Hebrews 13:7, 12:1–2. The Scripture reads,

The Best Books I Will Read In 2015

america's pastorIt’s only April so how can I possibly know the best books I will read in 2015? I get that I’ve already read some good books and that I will hopefully read more in the course of the next several months but I just can’t imagine that I will find two that I enjoy more than America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker and The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. If I do, then 2015 will be a banner year in reading.

These two books combine some of my favorite genres: history, biography, and politics. Then throw in some religion and it gets even better. Billy Graham was the seminal force in American Christianity in the 20th century defining evangelicals from fundamentalists (an evangelical was someone who liked Graham and a fundamentalist was one who thought he was too “liberal”), rallying Christians to be involved in government, an important voice on desegregation, and a possessing a relationship with every president since Truman.

2 Stories That Might Explain Why I Am Afraid Of Retirement?

Story #1: Today, I am going to a ceremony at the Missouri Supreme Court to honor my dad’s contribution to the court over 40 years of service. His portrait will be displayed alongside a handful of other Missourians who made a significant and lasting impact in the judicial system. My dad loved his work. He

Why Am I Stuck In Sin?

“Why do I struggle with the same sins over and over?” “Why is it so much harder for me to be a faithful Christian than other people?” “Why do my good intentions and even sincerely made commitments end in failure?” These aren’t just the questions that others ask me, these are often my own questions.

When God’s Composer Met the Philosopher King

If you’re looking for a fascinating (and short) read for this Christmas season, check out James R. Gaines’ Evening in the Palace of Reason. It tells the life stories of two men: Johann Sebastian Bach, the greatest composer of the baroque period, and Frederick the Great, the philosopher king. One represented Lutheranism and a God-soaked

Steve Jobs and Abortion

Last month I finished reading a book that is now easily on my short list of one of the best biographies I’ve ever read. It’s Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs.” But in this post I just want to make one observation from Jobs’ story, specifically as it relates to the issue of abortion. Early in the

John Wesley: Man of Contradictions

This morning I finished a biography on John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) by Stephen Tomkin. It’s a relatively short book that’s very well written and manages to paint a picture of both Wesley’s strengths and weaknesses. If your paradigm for Christian leaders (or anyone for that matter) is that they are either “good” or

I Can Believe God’s Word As Long As Nothing Bad Happens

Yesterday (Sept. 5), Keith Simon used The Crossing’s Labor Day worship service to sketch a vivid portrait of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, the brilliant German pastor and theologian who was implicated in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and executed by the Nazis just 10 days prior to the end of World War II. Quoting the Book

Lessons From John Wooden

American sports lost a legend of legends yesterday. John Wooden, universally regarded as the greatest college basketball coach of all time – many would say he’s the greatest coach of all time period – died yesterday at the age of 99. The weight of his life should be evidenced by the fact that a 28